2009 Season Review: Steve Kinser Concord, NC--November 25, 2009--Steve Kinser had high expectations entering the 2009 season as he does every year, in search of another championship to add to his record 20 World of Outlaws titles. He began the...
2009 Season Review: Steve Kinser
Concord, NC--November 25, 2009--Steve Kinser had high expectations entering the 2009 season as he does every year, in search of another championship to add to his record 20 World of Outlaws titles. He began the season by recording Top-10 finishes in 14 of the first 15 races and took the series point lead for the first time since 2005 following a win in his home state of Indiana at Tri-State Speedway. He would hold the top spot for a couple of weeks as he entrenched himself as one of the drivers to beat each and every night.
Though some bad luck befell him throughout the year, Kinser turned in yet another consistent season that saw him pick up 49 Top-10 finishes, with 32 of those being Top-Fives to finish the year fourth in the World of Outlaws championship standings. It marked the 26th time in his illustrious career that he has finished fourth or better in points.
"It was a below average year, that's about all you can say," deadpanned the 20-time series champion.
Kinser won the Brad Doty Classic for the second time in his career this past season, as he was also victorious in 1989 edition of the race. It was the first win in the event for him at Limaland Motorsports Park and his first triumph in the event with it under the World of Outlaws sanction. The storied race was again promoted by the Hall of Famer and former World of Outlaws driver, whom Kinser raced against for a number of years in the early days of the series.
"That is a special race and it was one that I really wanted to win again," said Kinser. "Brad was a good friend and we traveled together a lot. We had team cars during the Coors Light days. I spent a lot of time with his family growing up. It's a very special race and I'm glad to win it."
Kinser who has competed in all but two of the World of Outlaws seasons dating back to 1978 continues to see the level of competition rise in the sport. He raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 42 times this past season to earn Top-10 starting spots in feature events, with four of those being pole positions. He earned the Penske Power Position eight times on the season, which is awarded to the third-place finisher in each A-Feature event.
"There are a lot of good race cars out here and some pretty well financed teams," Kinser explained. "It makes it pretty tough. This is my business so if I can't make it pay for itself, there is no use doing it."
Kinser picked up his first win of the 2009 season at Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana in April, taking the series point lead that same night as well for the first time since 2005. It was his second consecutive World of Outlaws win at Tri-State Speedway and the eighth of his career with the series at the high-banked ¼-mile bullring. Over the years, he has reached Victory Lane 22 times at the track, where he made his debut back in 1976 with a fifth-place finish.
"There are just some tracks that really suit our racing style really good and we seem to do well at them and that seems to be one of them," he shared.
Kinser is currently weighing his options for next season and hopes to be back on the road to chase his record 21st World of Outlaws title and add to his amazing 552 career A-Feature victories with the series. His crew led by veteran crew chief Scott Gerkin is currently hard at work in the shop in Bloomington, Indiana building race cars for 2010.
"We'll see what we are going to do next year, if we are going to hang in there and run another season," stated the native of Bloomington, Indiana. "It depends on finances and hopefully we'll be able to do it. It's getting awfully expensive out here to run up and down the road. Hopefully we'll get the finances to be able to do it right. I enjoy racing and that's what I love to do. I hope to be out here another year."
Following the third annual World Finals, where he finished fourth in the finale, Kinser returned home to Indiana and had surgery to fix a bulging disc in his neck and was back home resting not longer after the surgery. Kinser will remain home this winter rehabbing in preparation for the 2010 season.
"I'm going to stay home this winter and see how things go there and get ready for next season," he noted.
The 2010 World of Outlaws season kicks off on February 5-7 with the 39th annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park, a track that Kinser has won at in the past.
By the Numbers Steve Kinser 2009:
1- New track he visited in 2009- Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota
2- A-Feature wins in 2009 for Kinser
3- Starts in his home state of Indiana this past season
4- Wins in the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions in 2009 for Kinser
8- Times that Kinser earned the Penske Power Award for finishing third in A-Feature events
26- Times in his career that Kinser has finished fourth or better in points with the World of Outlaws
28- Times in his career that he has finished in the Top-10 in the World of Outlaws standings
31- Different seasons that Kinser has won at least one World of Outlaws A-Feature race
32- Top-Five finishes for Kinser this past season
42- Appearances in the Crane Cams Dash for Kinser in 2009
43- Laps led by Kinser in 2009
49- Top-10 finishes in 2009 for Kinser
552- Career A-Feature wins for Steve Kinser
8666- Points earned to finish fourth in the championship standings
176,700- Dollars earned by Kinser this past season